Overview (Spoilers Abound):
Two years ago, my good friend Bethany messaged me that I absolutely HAD to watch Ali Wong’s Netflix Special. I was naturally skeptical, as I’m not one to watch comedy specials of my own volition. The last comedian specials I’d watched were Dave Chappelle’s and that one shirtless guy with the crazy Russian Mafia story, Bert Kreischer. I literally had to Google “Shirtless guy, Russian Mafia” to figure out his name. How could I say no to watching Wong’s Special, especially as Bethany was in tears from laughing just telling me a few of Wong’s jokes? I became an instant fan with both of her outrageous shows leaving me laughing harder than I could remember recent memory. Surprisingly, I’d not realized that Wong had released a book back in October of last year, however I was excited to read another nonfiction work by a comedian, especially after enjoying Haddish’s The Last Black Unicorn and Fey’s Bossypants. Dear Girls has a very different tone than any other book I’d read by a comedian, as it was a series of letters to her daughters to read in the future. Just as in her Netflix Special, Wong was refreshingly blunt and honest, even if it was still just as dirty as to be expected. I particularly enjoyed hearing about her relationship with her mother as I could totally relate. This whole read was heartfelt and will be equal parts treasured, although perhaps a bit TMI for her daughters when they eventually read Dear Girls. Honestly, I love the open conversations and relationships she’s cultivating with them, as many sensitive topics were off limits in my household growing up. That being said, sections of this read did not seem applicable to me as a reader due to being geared toward her daughters, making me feel as though I was intruding on their intimate family discussions. The afterward was a letter from her husband, giving a different perspective to the same stories we’d just heard from Wong. It was the perfect conclusion that managed to wrap all sorts of emotions into a beautiful eloquent message for his daughters, especially with the insightful articulation of his views regarding being the subject of so many of Wong’s jokes. Overall, Dear Girls is a heartfelt, truthfully outrageous glimpse into Wong’s life, love, family, and the hurdles she has had to overcome.